Happy last Friday in April!! This week was a blur, between work and a couple of events (more on that below) I'm happy to see Friday! Here's a few of my favorite things from this week! Oh and I'm working on a new blog design, attempting to do this one on my own...so stay tuned!
I randomly came across the Sworkit App and decided to try it out. It's basically a way for you to get a workout in as little as 5 minutes up to 60 minutes. After putting in all your information it gives you different exercises based on your goals. You don't need any gym equipment, but some of the exercises could be made harder by adding weights - which I was able to do at home. The bonus is that it does pair with your apple watch! I really liked the core strength one, because I run out of ideas for what to do for my abs and you get a handy dandy demo of each move before it's time to move on. Oh - it's a FREE app!
I stopped into CVS earlier this week and was craving some new lip gloss - as if I need more! I always love the feel of the NYX Butter glosses and picked up the shades "Fortune Cookie" and "Éclair" - I love that they smell good, but since they don't taste like anything - I don't end up eating my gloss off! Anyone else do this?
I'm not sure when I decided going out two nights in a row during the work week was a good idea, but I still had a blast. Wednesday night Tess and I attended a sneak peek of the "Fashion in Bloom" event at the CambridgeSide Galleria - celebrating, you guessed it, Spring Fashion! We pretended to be on vacation by sporting some new sunnies from Sunglass Hut.
Thursday evening Gary and I attended Copley Square Hotel's 125th birthday with it's new refreshed look! They've had all the rooms redecorated and redone as well as the lobby!! One of my favorite little bars aptly named "Mini Bar" is located inside of the hotel and we were able to enjoy a few much needed cocktails!
That wallpaper is textured and gorgeous!
That would be a Boston terrier painting.
//Ralph Lauren released what Team USA will be wearing during the opening and closing ceremonies
How quickly did Mother's Day sneak up on us? Next weekend we get to celebrate those special ladies in our lives and I don't know if I'm the only one that has this "problem", but my mom is seriously hard to shop for. Even posing the question of "do you need anything?" is answered with a swift, "NO I have everything I need," making it even more difficult. This year, I've put my detective hat on and started prodding early on asking more questions about her day and how it could be made easier or better with something! So while I know exactly what she's getting - she doesn't, so I've rounded up some items I think all mama's would like!
S'well Bottle - I didn't quite get the hype of these until I got my own, but they are perfect for those mom's that are always on the go (which is all mom's) and those that spend lot's of time in their cars because these puppies really do stay cold!!
A fun pair of shoes - Lucky for me, not so much for my mom, we share the same shoe size so I am always taking her amazing shoes...with that being said it also makes it so much easier to buy shoes for her and I'm loving these espadrilles from Sole Society.
Beauty - My love of makeup and beauty items absolutely comes from my mom so it would be only natural to gift her with a beautiful eye shadow palette (that I might need to buy for myself as well) or new lipstick - a few higher end items that you know she would never buy for herself is always a nice treat.
Some baubles - Something classic that can be worn every day or with dressier outfits, like these Tory Burch logo stud earrings is a great gift and if you're like me you'll be sneaking it to your mom's jewelry to wear them when you visit!
When all else fails and you are really stuck for ideas give her a nice print that she can display or a mug for that pretty much states the obvious - she's the best!
While I know every mom would enjoy a beautiful card with some flowers, I think treating them to a gift they wouldn't necessarily get for themselves is always nice!! Have you pulled off a great gift for your mom?
Weekend style is always a bit tough for me and usually these three questions go through my head... How dressy do I have to get for brunch? Should I wear heels or flats if I know I'll be walking a ton? Should I bring my giant tote with me or is a smaller bag all I need? After I answer these questions - sometimes out loud to Gary, but usually it's an internal dialogue, I come up with a casual, but still dressy enough outfit, like the one I'm sharing today! I posted a sneak peek of this outfit on Instagram, but wanted to go into a bit more detail since everything I'm wearing is ridiculously comfortable and perfect as the weather starts to heat up! Apologies that these photos are a tad bit grainy and not as sharp as I'd like them to be - I wasn't anticipating taking outfit photos, but when the mood strikes, the iPhone will have to do!
Does this door look familiar? We took our engagement photos here & it also happens to be what I use for my blog button!
Remember when I was on the hunt for a chambray shirt for close to a year, well since it's been found I haven't been able to stop wearing it! It makes me happy when pieces like the shirt can be worn to work and on the weekends - double duty! Cloth & Stone sold at Anthropogie is the brand, but they aren't making this exact style anymore, however it's the softest chambray I've ever felt but I think that also means it wrinkles more than I'd like! I think that's just the price you pay with wearing this type of fabric.
Another outfit piece I haven't been able to stop wearing are these white jeans I scooped up from Loft a few weeks ago! To say the fit is amazing would be an understatement! They are more relaxed so you don't feel like you're suffocating and the best part is that with these white jeans you won't be worried about those little imperfections that you can see in white denim - I think you know what I'm talking about!
Finally, my favorite new bag - the Mini MAB from Rebecca Minkoff! I talked about it when ShopBop was having their sale and that's when I picked it up! The pink is the perfect pop of color for this time of year and while the bag is pretty small, I'm able to fit everything I need for a day out - phone, keys, wallet (I use my card case from this post) lip sticks & charger. My shoulders thank me on the weekends for not lugging a too heavy tote with me!
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I just know that pieces of this outfit are going to be worn over and over again as we keep getting into the warmer months - AND I'm totally okay with that! What is your go to weekend outfit? What do you like to pair your white jeans with?
Happy Friday friends! To say the weather has been a dream here would be an understatement - sure we still have our chillier moments (like this weekend coming up) but I ran outside for the first time in I can't even tell you how long and it felt SO good!! Linking up with Amanda to share some favorites from the week!
Oh my word, when I spotted this recipe for Bacon Gorgonzola Chicken Salad, my mouth started watering right there. I'm going to sub out the mayo for plain Greek yogurt, but with Gorgonzola and bacon - I might not want to eat anything other than this over the weekend!
Favorite Movie Trailers:
Two movie trailers came out this week - one for Girl on the Train and one for Jason Bourne. Say what you will about the book, but Emily Blunt will give an amazing performance in this movie, I just know it! Fun fact: Love the Jason Bourne series and so glad that Matt Damon is back for this one!
Bring on the brights and pastels!! I've actually thrown out a lot of my old polishes and this month have taken a break from getting gel manicures, much needed for my nails and I find it sort of relaxing painting them...getting the polish to stay on past two days is another story!!
I took a few months off from the B~Inspired Series, but it's back because there are few things in life that bring me as much joy as meeting and talking to creative individuals - especially when those individuals happen to be pretty incredible female entrepreneurs. I know Valerie not only as a Boston Blogger, but also as a creative mind who I've gotten to know over the last few months and will be working with in some pretty fun ways!! Read on to find out how Valerie took the leap of faith to start her own business and why Steve Martin has a pretty epic quote!
Business / Current Position: Owner and photographer for VS Photography
Location: South Boston
Educational Background: BA from Boston University
You just recently decided to turn your passion into your full-time career - how did you decide it was the right time to venture on your own?
I’ve always had the desire to go off on my own and build a business—blame that urge on my mom who immigrated to the United States for a better life and eventually became her own boss, business owner, and general badass (in the best sense of the word). But, I’m not sure if I can pinpoint the exact moment I chose to bring the VS Photography boudoir studio to life. The idea had been brewing for a while, and once I developed my portfolio, found my location, and put the rest of the pieces together, I decided to take the leap! There’s no time like the present.
What were you doing before starting your own photography business?
I worked in the publishing industry as an editor.
Since you work in a creative environment - what does a typical day look like for you? How do you find the time to fit everything in?
Every day looks a little different! The life of the creative, right? If have a session with a client, then I’m typically in my studio prepping, holding consultations, shooting, and having fun! When I’m not with clients, then I’m drinking an excessive amount of coffee while editing, handling day-to-day tasks, maintaining the website, blogging, and collaborating with others on special projects.
I've been lucky enough to see your studio in person and it's seriously a dream! What inspired your design and how did you go about decorating it?
I have a serious infatuation with interior design! I wanted the space to feel luxurious, elegant, and glamorous in order to give my boudoir shoots that extra something special. But, I know boudoir can be intimidating, which is why I also wanted the space to feel inviting and comfortable. Whether I’m shooting an intimate one-on-one session or a boudoir bachelorette party, I think the studio is a happy place where clients feel at home.
What are words you live by?
I adore the quote, “be so good they can’t ignore you.” In other words, I believe in wholeheartedly cultivating your passions and talent. Setbacks like comparing yourself to others, giving up on your goals, or no believing in yourself all fall away if you just stick to your guns and tirelessly work to present your best self to the world.
What woman would you want to have dinner with?
Between all of the role models throughout history, all of the super inspiring female entrepreneurs who have led the way for future thinkers, all of the photographers whose brains I’d love to pick, and all of the writers I’d be thrilled to have a word with, this is by far the hardest question! At the moment, because I’m focusing on cultivating my brand, I’d love to have a glass of wine with a creative who does it all with style and grace like Garance Dore!
What are three things you can't leave the house without?
Chapstick, a healthy snack, and some apparatus capable of taking photos.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell myself not to let fear get in the way. Fear has a funny way of paralyzing your ambitions if you allow it to do so. Your faith in whatever you’re invested in must be bigger than your fear!
You have a week to travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
I was lucky to have gotten married in a small town in northern France. To me, it’s the happiest place on earth. I’d spend the week cozying up in castles, strolling through beaches in the rain, sipping on Calvados while slurping down oysters, and of course, spending time with some of the loveliest people in the world. Actually, I may need more than a week!
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you’re hitting a wall while on your entrepreneurial journey, just. keep. going. Show up every day and do your best. If you need a break, focus on smaller tasks, do something creative, go to Target and invest in festive office supplies and organize your work space--anything. Then get back to what’s important and remember that eventually, your rough patch will become a thing of the past. As Winston Churchill once said, “if you’re going through hell, keep going.” Pardon my language!
What has been your most inspired moment?
My first attempt at boudoir took place the day before a loved one’s wedding. I was on location with my bride in Europe--in a gorgeous open field--during golden hour. Simply put, it was amazing. The best part though, was that I discovered I loved making women feel confident, beautiful, and empowered through what I do—and I knew from then on that I wanted to recreate that experience as much as possible.
Huge thank you to Valerie for being part of this little series. I'm so excited for two upcoming collaborations that Bespoke Boston Weddings has with VS Photography all leading up to our first ever Bridal Pop Up Event on June 25th! Definitely will be sharing all the photos and details as they come out!!
Valerie has the most calm and nurturing personality out there - definitely a bonus for anyone shooting with her. Have you ever thought of taking boudoir photos? What's the style of photo you'd lean towards?
It's been over a year since I've done a "What's in my bag" post and I'll be honest, these are some of my favorite ones to read - so I thought why not share what's in my newest tote for Spring. You saw the tote itself on my post last week and it was a fluke find at TJ Maxx a couple months ago!!
I've been really good about only keeping what I need in my bag so it's not too heavy - which tends to happen with totes! So here's what I carry around on a daily basis//
Wallet || Business Card Holder || Keys // The Kate Spade wallet was a purchase in Charleston last year and I absolutely love how big it is and surprisingly everything has it's place so it doesn't get cluttered. My business card holder also doubles as my wallet when I have smaller purses or clutches. This was a gift from Gary for my birthday when we were in Dubai. I only keep my T (train) pass, small photo of my nieces and nephew & Gary's business card in my key pouch.
Phone || Lighting Cable || Back Up Charger // My MIL purchased this lighting cable for me and it's perfectly sized! I also don't have to worry about other cables because it fits perfectly into my portable charger. Funny story about these portable chargers - I used to have this really pretty one from ban.do, but it would always fall out and not keep the charge, so I started using these swag ones you get at conferences and they work like a charm! I also have to tell you about these little bobino cord wraps. I bought this for Gary three years ago as a little stocking stuffer and lover it so much that I ended up buying myself one too! It's super handy and my earbuds never get tangled anymore!
Notebook || Planner & Pens // Ever since downsizing to one notebook for blog & business I've got so much more room (and it's less heavier too) - I also downsized my planner last August to be more compact and I'll tell you that this is the longest I've gone with one planner in a few years! As much as I love TJ Maxx for regular notebooks, I gravitate to Paper Source for notebooks and planners that I know I'll use for longer/for business.
The amount of lipsticks/glosses I carry with me on a daily basis is obscene - even worse I not only have them in my GiGi NY zip pouch, but I keep the ones I use the most frequently in the side pocket! I also keep a small fragrance with me for those touch ups after the gym or before going out after work (which really doesn't happen that often haha). I really like the light scent of Tender Romance and it reminds me of vacation, which a welcome smell while at work!
I carry santizer gel since I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a germaphobe and I also have tissues with me because it's allergy season and pollen tends to not agree with me! After years of not carrying headache medicine with me, I've learned my lesson and always have bottle! I also have a these little nail polish remover pads because I can't stand it when my nails are chipped so this easily removes them and they don't have that offensive nail polish remover smell which is always nice!
The heaviest thing in the tote is my iPad...sadly this is a necessary evil since I commute I like to read magazines and books. I'm still loving my cover / keyboard, but keep the keyboard portion at home when I'm not travelling.
Odd items that you might also find, but not currently in there are kind bars and extra pairs of earrings that I take off during the day and forget to take out!! Funny enough during the work week I rarely take my sunglasses with me, which is why they aren't pictured here! What are some things you carry on the daily? Anything you carry that isn't needed?
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*I was provided a sample of the perfume from Influentser. All opinions are my own.
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